Changing your culture to make your business more sustainable

By Anne-Freja Amsinck in News feed, SustainX

Sustainability has become a megatrend, and, thankfully, it seems that it is here to stay. An increasing number of companies view ‘green business’ as good business, startups with a focus on sustainability are popping up globally, new businesses strive to be born green, and more and more established companies are jumping on the green bandwagon.

The main driving factor behind this is a gradual shift in culture toward sustainable thinking in society in general. 

Culture as untapped potential 

When discussing how to solve the current climate crisis, we often become preoccupied with technical solutions, overlooking the untapped potential of cultural change.  

However, if we are to succeed in reaching drawdown and generally living sustainably with the world around us, we need to view cultural change and technological advances as equal partners on the path toward our goals – both in society and within organizations. 

Ultimately, humans are the ones who must drive the change. That is why it is crucial to incorporate cultural perspectives when working with sustainability. 

A change in behavior requires a shift in mindset 

Becoming a (more) sustainable business is as much about a cultural shift as it is about setting ambitious targets and KPI’s. Achieving sustainable outcomes requires a change in ways of working, leadership, and organizational structure. Still, for the business to reach its full potential, it must also transform culturally. Some of the reasons for this are:  

  1. When a sustainable mindset has been established – which in short can be defined as awareness about sustainability and a drive to act and think about sustainable alternatives – behaviors will change much more naturally and dynamically.  
  2. A sustainable mindset among employees will inspire sustainable solutions and instill a sense of purpose.
  3. Implementing changes to become a more sustainable business will be met with a more positive and motivated attitude by employees if sustainable thinking is embedded in the organizational culture. 

Understanding your organizational culture

When you engage in understanding your organizational culture, you can use this understanding to plant the seeds for a sustainable mindset and ensure successful change. If you make an effort to understand the people who are going to drive change in your business – and adapt your initiatives, strategies, and solutions accordingly – you will have a much greater chance of achieving real and lasting change.  

To ensure that your sustainability strategies will be successful on an operational level and be feasible outside the board room, employee engagement is a must. Involving your employees will create a sense of ownership, pride, and motivation to engage in sustainable behavior and drive innovation, which, in the end, will benefit the wellbeing of your employees, the environment, and your bottom line. 

That is why we at SustainX operate with the triad of people, planet, and profit.